Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Whispers Want to Holler
by JONATHAN ABARBANEL
2003-02-12

This article shared 2490 times since Wed Feb 12, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Marta J. Effenger

At: ETA Creative Arts Foundation,

7558 S. South Chicago Ave.

Phone: ( 773 ) 752-3955; $25

Runs through: March 23

Deep in Act II of Whispers Want to Holler, a character identified only as Washerwoman ( Makeba Ayo Pace ) tells the gruesome tale of how she was lynched in the late 1800s. Her torch then was carried by her daughter ( Daryl Charisse ) in the Baptist Women's Convention of 1900, inspiring, in turn, a young Black spelling champion ( Michael Cordero on opening night ) . At that point, the play snaps to life and rivets the audience with a dramatic focus altogether lacking before Washerwoman speaks. Up until then, Whispers Want to Holler is confusing.

There's an old rule-of-thumb of short story writing that applies equally well to playwriting: since every word counts, you don't describe a gun unless that gun is going to be fired. Whispers Want to Holler has several guns ( figuratively ) that it doesn't fire, setting up audience expectations that aren't fulfilled. The play opens with a New Orleans jazz funeral, but there's nothing the least bit Big Easy or even Southern about the play, which might take place in any gentrifying large city. Why establish a particular locale if it's of no meaning?

Early in Act I, the play establishes that the central character, Olive ( Carolyn Nelson ) , and her family have owned this house for over 70 years. When a gaggle of ghosts show up, we think they are Olive's forebears returning to urge her not to sell the house to the gentrifyers who want it. But, except for one ghost, they are not related to her, summoned instead by the various objects to be found in the little antique store that Olive ran with her son, whose death is marked by the opening funeral. Her son's murder, and the gentrification offer, are overlapping but completely separate events, so using the death as a springboard to the play's real issue—the meaning of a place in human terms—is both misleading and inefficient.

The author, Marta T. Effinger, is a young product of the eta Creative Arts Foundation's admirable writing program. The best moments of this play certainly show her promise in flashes of humor, power and poetry, if only she can master structure and motivation. My advice to her is to resurrect the never-seen son, and make the play a debate between the two of them over gentrification. Get rid of the red herring of his death. Next, Ms. Effinger needs to find convincing personal stories for each of her ghosts that are as strong as Washerwoman's. Finally, Olive needs to be more sympathetic. As written, and as directed by Runako Jahi, Olive comes across as angry, hostile and unwilling to listen. Gentle her out and give her more dimensions.


This article shared 2490 times since Wed Feb 12, 2003
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PASSAGES Pansy Kings performance artist, education advocate Murray McKay dies 2022-01-20
- Pansy Kings performance artist, education advocate, curator, designer and LGBTQ activist Edward Murray McKay died Jan. 4 of cancer. He was 53. McKay was born Oct. 2, 1968, in Brussels, Belgium. The family moved to Toronto ...


Gay News

THEATER Red Orchid's 'The Moors' running through Feb. 27 2022-01-15
- A Red Orchid Theatre is running Jen Silverman's The Moors, directed by Artistic Director and Ensemble Member Kirsten Fitzgerald, through Feb. 27 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. The plot is as follows: ...


Gay News

THEATER About Face announces cast of queer-themed 'Laced' 2022-01-14
- About Face Theatre begins its 27th season with the world premiere of Samantha Mueller's drama Laced, running March 17-April 16 at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Set in the aftermath of the vandalism of ...


Gay News

Black Ensemble Theatre announces 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings 2022-01-14
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL—Black Ensemble Theater's Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor announces its 2022 Season of Excellence: The Season of Healings. The 2022 Season includes four World Premiere musicals showcasing the power ...


Gay News

THEATER DuSable, puppet company to run Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye' 2022-01-13
- The DuSable Museum of African American History is partnering with the 4th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival to present a production of The Bluest Eye, based on Toni Morrison's 1970 groundbreaking coming-of-age novel. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER 'This Is Only a Test' Feb. 11-March 12 2022-01-12
- Broken Nose Theatre, a pay-what-you-can theater company, is welcoming back live audiences this winter with the world premiere of Eric Reyes Loo's drama This Is Only a Test, directed by Toma Tavares Langston. The production will ...


Gay News

THEATER Queer-themed 'Queen of the Night' to run Jan. 29-March 13 2022-01-11
- Victory Gardens Theater is slated to open its 2021-22 Mainstage Season with Queen of the Night, written by travis tate and directed by Victory Gardens Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin. Queen of the Night features Terry Guest ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Mary Rose' running through Feb. 12 2022-01-10
- Black Button Eyes (BBE) Productions is concluding its 2021-22 season with the world-premiere musical Mary Rose, featuring book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, direction by Ed Rutherford ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Queens of Infinite Space' canceled because of COVID 2022-01-07
- With the increase in COVID-19 cases in Chicago and beyond, Proboscis Theatre has decided to cancel the performances of The Queens of Infinite Space set to run at Epiphany Center for Arts, 201 S. Ashland Ave., ...


Gay News

THEATER Steppenwolf delays '1919' premiere due to COVID 2022-01-07
- Due to the COVID-19 surge driven by the Omicron variant, and out of an abundance of caution for public health, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has postponed its Steppenwolf for Young Adults world-premiere adaptation of Eve L. Ewing's ...


Gay News

Mercury Theater Chicago announces casting and artists for 'Women of Soul' 2022-01-06
--From a press release - Chicago —Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter, Managing Director Shane Murray-Corcoran, and Executive Producers Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizonannounce the cast and creative team for the next Mainstage production of the ...


Gay News

THEATER Trans performer Sis is doin' fine in 'Oklahoma!' 2022-01-05
- This isn't your typical grandma's Oklahoma! The very first musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein opened on Broadway in 1943 and continues to captivate audiences today. The dialogue remains the same, but updated casting choices have ...


Gay News

COVID Raven Theatre cancels production of 'Beautiful Thing' 2022-01-05
- Raven Theatre announced it will cancel its upcoming production of Beautiful Thing due to the current surge of the COVID Omicron variant. The production, written by Jonathan Harvey and directed by Mikael Burke, was slated to ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS 'Dr. Seuss' extended through Jan. 23 2022-01-05
- The Dr. Seuss Experience—the immersive spectacle that gives guests of all ages the opportunity to journey through nine different Dr. Seuss books—will now take place on Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Jan. 23. The attraction is ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Winnie the Pooh' running March 15-June 12 2022-01-05
- After its run in New York City, Jonathan Rockefeller's Disney's Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptation will arrive in Chicago on March 15 and will run through June 12 at the Mercury Theatre Chicago, ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.